water for life

I went to Kampung Jemeri last weekend for the Water For Life CSR (Community Social Responsibility) program, which provides Orang Asli with access to uninterrupted water supply. Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin, Pahang is about a 6 hour drive from KL and does not have one of the basic necessities of life – clean water.

kampung jemeri rompin

The entire Orang Asli village has to draw water from a very old pump and when it runs dry, they have to walk half a kilometer to draw water from the well and on days when the water supply was low, they had to make an incredible 5 km trek to reach the nearest river!

community service

Water For Life is a venture of PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to ensure that the 131 families in Kampung Jemeri has a clean and safe water supply. The second phase involves 40 of us from PDB to help them install a rainwater harvesting system.

rompin pahang

I’ve been to quite a few kampungs in my time but never to one where water is such a scarce resource! Long houses for Ibans in Sarawak is usually built close to rivers to that isn’t a problem. However, the Orang Asli here doesn’t even have a steady supply of that!

water tanks

It was quite a pleasure to help them in this – we were all issued heavy duty gloves and a wristband to indicate which of the 4 large 400 liter water tanks we will be assigned to.

water

The large tanks are installed in sections throughout the main dirt road of the 131 Orang Asli families in Kampung Jemeri to provide easy access to water for all.

rainwater collection

The first one was built at the start of the sprawling village and it takes in water from…

rainwater filtration

….two large rainwater harvesting ponds.

cutting pvc pipe

It is then sent up through a system of 100 meter pipes to the other tanks to allow everyone in the village easy access to water – right at their doorsteps.

task station

I was assigned to the very last water tank and we hefted it all the way to the rear of the village and did all the installation to accept the sequential water from Tank 1-3.

blue team

Blue Team!

water harvesting tanks

Hauling the water tanks into the village.

100m pvc

Since we’re at the last station, we had to first run the PVC pipe to the third water tank to hook up with them. I was surprised to find out that behind the dirt road is primary jungle!

primary jungle

I got quite a few mosquito bites from that but it’s all good fun.

toolbox

We also had a toolbox which contains cutters and all the piping necessities to build the rainwater harvesting system. I assigned myself to hook up the piping to the tank itself…

pipe installation

…and also the last mile where I joined the PVC piping to a steed rod and a pipe with a lot of help.

last mile piping

The box of tools has somehow been taken back to base camp, which is at least 500 meters away, and none of us wanted to make the trek back (which would tell you how far the villagers have to go for water every single time they wanted it – and get it back) so I used a huge stone to bang the steel pipe into the hard packed earth.

zip tie pipe

It worked even better than a hammer! The principle is much like that of piling in construction. I hefted the rock and let it go while another guy from PDB held it steady. In a minute or so, we managed to drive the entire steel rod in to hold the rest of the PVC and pipe!

orang asli hut

Orang Asli hut! It’s barely 1 meter tall.

orang asli family

There’s actually people inside, preparing for lunch. They’re peeling bamboo shoots, which grows in the wild here.

rompin water for life

Managing Director and CEO of Petronas DAGANGAN Berhad, Aminul Rashid Mohd Zamzam with Malaysian Nature Society and the village head of Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin.

candy kids

Handing candy out to the local kids.

kampung jemeri

The entire rainwater system with proper filtering was tested and water flowed smoothly…

petronas water for life

…so all that was needed is to wait for the 4 tanks to fill up.

orang asli feast

The Orang Asli villagers at Kampung Jemeri held a veritable feast for us, with local delicacies like ikan tenggiri masak tempoyak. There’s also a fiery sambal that Dina asked me to try and I immediately got hooked on. I ate a lot of that homemade sambal with ulam (raw vegetables).

group photo

However, the best part of the day was getting dirty and sweaty in helping these less fortunate folks get one of the basic necessities of life – water.

orang asli kids

I’ve gotten a glimpse of how the Orang Asli in Kampung Jemeri lived and I’m glad I was part of the Water For Life initiative to help then get clean access to water.

water for life rompin

It’s a very good feeling, doing community work like this.

g force

Do you know that F1 drivers experience an intense amount of G-force whenever they drive? It’s totally unlike this at all – I was just horsing around…

petronas solaris

…but what I wanted to write about is the recent trip Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg made to Malaysia for a Meet The Drivers session at PETRONAS Solaris Serdang!

meet drivers

It was held in the afternoon and the sight of a *real* Formula One vehicle inside a gas station sure garnered a lot of attention.

lewis hamilton

I’m sure that’s a dream come true for a lot of people. I have a friend who’s a huge fan of Lewis Hamilton – insisted on me trying to get his autograph for her and passed her handbag (!!!) to me one season. I didn’t manage to do it but if she was here that day, it’ll have made her day, her week, her month, and even her year. ;)

rc racing

There was also a remote control car racing competition between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. I thought that was a fun concept – I wonder if aptitude with RC cars have anything to do with performance on a real F1 car. I seriously doubt it, but it’s a cute activity. Heh.

hand prints

The two drivers also did hand prints and signed plaques for the Race On contest.

nico rosberg

You know the best part? The two F1 drivers actually filled up the gas tanks of people who came into the PETRONAS station at Solaris Serdang that day! Guess who those lucky people are? They’re Mesra Card Top Spenders! The lucky few who got to get *up close* to Lewis and Nico, pose for photographs and get their cars filled up by them! It’s bragging rights for eternity! :)

You might have missed out on this one, but there’s a very nice car (Mercedes-Benz A-Class) you can win by participating in the Mesra Race On Contest!

What is the Race On contest?

It’s an amazing promotion going on at all Mesra stores at PETRONAS stations nationwide. You just need to buy any of these combos:

mesra f1 combos

…and win great prizes! The best thing is that the combos are much cheaper than if you have bought the individual items together, and they make a perfect snack on road trips or just a cool drink with the hot weather here.

prints

You can also participate by purchasing RM 15 in a single receipt in Mini Mesra and unbranded stores at PETRONAS stations (except for Primax 95, Diesel, Kerosene, Touch n’ Go, Cigarettes, E-payment services and controlled items like flour, sugar and cooking oil).

petronas f1

Just fill in your name, email, and contact number and answer an easy question at the back of the sales receipt and put it into the box at PETRONAS stations to get a chance to win!

mesra contest

The grand prize is the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class! There’s also 10 x LED HD Smart TVs, 20 x Macbook Air, 30 x iPhone 5 and 40 x Mesra gift cards for a total of 110 prizes. Get more details at the Mesra site.

It’s so simple and easy to take part – just look at the back of your receipt and jot down your details! :)

massage

I’ve been following this online – it’s a very fun concept where a 3 local personalities (Awal Ashaari, Scha Alyahya and Faizal Ismail) and our very own blogger Hanis Zalikha goes on a roadtrip where they complete challenges across the nation.

scha alyahya

It’s a lot like watching TV, which I’ve been doing a bit lately, usually while waiting for hotel checkout time…except this is all available online on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. :)

pump gas

The basic concept of the Petronas Switch for XTRA Road Challenge is where the above-mentioned 4 celebrities form a group with 2 other supporters. These two supporters are culled from the top 15 winners from the Switch for XTRA Race (the first phase of the #Switch4XTRA Road Challenge – yup, that’s the Twitter hashtag – campaign).

Now that they’ve move on to the second phase, you can watch video snippets like the one above from each of the 4 teams. It’s quite entertaining to see a reality show online which combines videos from YouTube, photo galleries in Facebook and various tweets from Twitter to form a cohesive whole.

mesra drivethru

Each team is sent on a roadtrip to a location in Malaysia, where they complete challenges which can only be done with the help of the public. That’s done in a large part via social media – when the teams gets the challenges, they send out word through their social media assets to their fans and supporters to chip in and help out.

sell stuff

The interesting part about this is that you get a large part in determining who wins. It’s like a reality show where you’re the judge. :)

The videos from each of the 4 teams are posted online and the winning team will be the one with the highest number of collective video views.

The winning team takes home RM 10,000 but it doesn’t go to the celebrity – it’s split into RM 5,000 chunks for the 2 supporters in their team.

tiny bike

I found myself using a lot of bandwidth to watch the show. It’s a bit of a cross between a locally produced travel reality show and a competition reality show (like Supermarket Sweep from my youth – remember that?).

seller helper
Scha Alyahya helping sell..

You can watch all the videos at the PETRONAS Switch 4 XTRA Road Challenge YouTube page.

I’m going to support Team Hanis Zalikha coz I like her on-screen personality – it’s pretty much the same as her real persona. Which team do you support? :D

seller
kueh (local pastries) for a stall!

It’s quite entertaining really, after all the locally produced travel shows I’ve been watching on TV. Go check it out, particularly if you’re studying overseas and missing a bit of home. I wish stuff like this was available when I was studying in Melbourne. :)

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